Sat May 30, 2015 10:20AM
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has finally formed his fourth cabinet but he has the narrowest possible coalition, consisting of 61 legislators out of the Knesset’s 120.

The biggest winner of the negotiations was the right-wing Jewish Home party, which represents the interests of the settler movement.

Its leader, Naftali Bennett, will be Israel’s new minister for education, and his deputy, Ayelet Shaked, will lead the ministry for judicial affairs. The Jewish Home will also receive the deputy position in the ministry for military affairs.

This will be the most right-wing coalition in Israeli history. Not only is the cabinet composed of conservative parties, but also those parties have become more hard-line than ever before.

All of Likud’s senior leadership, starting with Netanyahu, is on record against the idea of a sovereign Palestinian state.

To the right of Likud is the Jewish Home party, with fewer legislators (eight, as opposed to 12 in the previous Knesset) but with Netanyahu completely dependent on every single one of them. So the Jewish Home’s influence is likely to go beyond the cabinet positions Bennett was able to secure.

Moreover, two ultra-Orthodox parties - United Torah Judaism and Shas – are also in the coalition.

None of these parties will ever challenge Netanyahu if he decides to wage war on the Palestinians or build more settlements on Palestinian land.